Why you should only buy Australian-made products
I WONDER if they teach today's children about all the wonderful inventions this little nation has delivered to the world. Not only delivered, but also manufactured right here as well?
As youngsters in the 1950s and 1960s we were fascinated by the invention and manufacturing achievements of this tiny country. At that time Australia would have had less than 10 million people.
We were aware of Furphy's Water Tanks, Bower Smith's stump-jump plough, the Hills Hoist, McCormick's Coolgardie Safe (refrigerator), the FJ Holden and the world's first utility (ute).
Learning about these innovations was part of the school curriculum. I wonder if that is still the case?
We invented these things, we made these things and, thankfully, we bought these things.
Hundreds more world-renowned inventions followed including underwater torpedoes, photolithography, mechanical wool clipper, electric drill, notepads, feature films, surf lifesaving reels, rotary hoe, totalisator, black box flight recorder, plastic spectacle lenses, ultrasound, wine cask, orbital engine, bionic ear, polymer bank notes and, even, the mighty dual-flush toilet.
Toowoomba was most certainly punching above its weight with famous manufacturing names like the Toowoomba Foundry, Defiance Mills, Orfords and KR Darling Downs.
If my memory serves me correctly, the foundry manufactured locomotives, windmills, water pumping equipment and even an aeroplane. At one stage the company employed more than 1000 men and women.
All these iconic names are gone, gone forever.
Competition from imports into Australia didn't pose a significant threat to local manufacturers until the 1960s when the Japanese saw an opportunity.
Now, the Japanese weren't too popular given the brutal way in which they treated our Anzac boys and girls in WWII and one can understand that reaction. Citizens derided their products by calling them "cheap" and it was not considered Kosher to buy anything from Japan.
Mind you, one of their car exports was called the "Nissan Cedric" making it easy to understand why there was some doubt about quality.
The Japanese found a brilliant way around the perception by tagging some of their products "Made in Usa" which is a fib because it was not the United States of America but rather a Japanese city of 50,000 citizens. Clever!
More recently, and sadly, almost everything we consume is made in China, same brands we've grown up with but all made in the PRC.
In my recent working years I've spent many weeks working in Geelong, Victoria and across South Australia. It breaks your heart to see the redundant Ford factory in Geelong where the last Falcon was manufactured in 2016 and Elizabeth, South Australia' Holden factory where the iconic Commodore ceased production in 2017.
Recent days and recent tragedies. We don't make cars anymore.
Even our fruit and veggies come from abroad. And didn't I get a going-over recently when I came home with a bunch of Mexican asparagus, Mrs J took it straight down to the chooks. Next day a bunch of Australian asparagus was deposited safely into the crisper.
Australian labelling is out of control as readers will know, too much information and too little time to consume it all. Silly statements like "Made in Australia from at least 20% Australian produce." Really?
Enough is enough.
You can make a difference in the lives of our Australian growers and manufacturers by being a follower of the "Australian Made Campaign" at https://australianmade.com.au/why-buy-australian-made/about-australian-made/
When you visit their website you can search for any product you like and make your subsequent buying decision knowing it's 100% Australian. And you'll get regular updates of brand new Australian products coming onto the market. Click on https://australianmade.com.au/products/
The familiar logo (green triangle, gold outline of a Kangaroo) can be found on over 20,000 products, made or grown to Australia's high standards.
Henceforth I am changing my buying products for the good of Australia, will you join me?